ComEd Settles Bribery Investigation, Implicates Madigan’s Involvement

By Benjamin Cox on July 17, 2020 at 9:52am

Illinois’ largest energy company has agreed to pay $200 million to end a federal criminal investigation implicating several top political officials. The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that ComEd has agreed to pay the sum to end a year’s long bribery scheme investigation that implicates Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the energy giant admits it arranged jobs, subcontracts and pay-offs for associates of “a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois.” That person is identified as “Public Official A” in a news release that implicates Madigan.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office today filed a one-count criminal information in U.S. District Court in Chicago charging ComEd with bribery. Under the agreement, the government will defer prosecution on the charge for three years and then seek to dismiss it if ComEd abides by certain conditions, including continuing to cooperate with ongoing investigations of individuals or other entities related to the conduct described in the bribery charge.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release that Public Official A “controlled what measures were called for a vote in the Illinois House of Representatives and exerted substantial influence over fellow lawmakers concerning legislation affecting ComEd.” The conduct is alleged to have occurred between 2011 through 2019. ComEd admitted that it arranged for jobs and vendor subcontracts for Public Official A’s political allies and workers even in instances where those people performed little or no work that they were purportedly hired to perform.

ComEd further admitted to U.S. Attorneys that it rewarded Public Official A by appointing an individual to their Board of Directors at the official’s request, retaining a particular law firm at the official’s request, and accepting a certain amount of students into the company’s internship program who resided in the ward where the official was associated.